James MacWilliams has been tending bar since his 21st birthday, and he joined Canlis as Head Barman in 2008. At home he is an enthusiast for the food and the great Northwest. Behind the bar he is part scientist, part historian, and part chef. James draws on a love of history, science, literature, philosophy and art then blends them with liquor and technique in the tradition of an alchemist. “I believe there is a place for magic and wonder left in the world, and so sometimes, properly crafted cocktails should be more than the sum of their parts. They can become sublime and poetic, fostering discourse and contemplation…and always refreshment.”
When he’s not tending the bar, James can be found in the mountains, lakes, and deserts of the local outdoors, or under the oceans...as a dive master instructor.